Fresh from a successful Long Point exhibition, upholstery manufacturer Westbridge is looking to the future with new models, fresh takes on design and customer engagement initiatives. Furniture News asked Westbridge’s sales director, Nichola Bell, for details …

What products did you take to Long Point, and how were they received?

We decided this year to show a small selection from our Spirit, Westbridge and Elements ranges.

Leather featured strongly, as we recently launched our top five bestselling Westbridge models in a fantastic selection of aniline leathers, enabling our customers to add a piece to their existing ranges, and helping them increase their average sale values.?

The star of the show was the Jude, a great modular corner group launched in July from our Elements range, which offers great value and comfort.

As Christmas is around the corner we also ran a show special on the Lilly sofabed – just in time for those house guests arriving for the festive season.

Westbridge is never one to shy away from bold statements and colours – what are your predictions for the coming season, and are there any styles you’re particularly excited about??

If the reaction to the new Jude is anything to go by, our pastel palette will be very strong this season – in soft, powdery tones, this theme has gone down a treat.?

Our design team have been busy scouring the globe in pursuit of exciting new trends ready for the January Furniture Show. We love colour, and this year will be no exception.?

The rest, of course, I cannot share, or I would spoil the surprise!

We hear you’re working more closely than ever with your stockists these days …

Whilst our customers were battling the results of a glorious summer (and therefore quiet showrooms), we took the opportunity to arm them with as much confidence and knowledge about Westbridge and our products as possible.?

We did this by offering a number of two-day Westbridge Experiences, comprising a visit to our three factories, design department and testing facilities.?

Agreed, North Wales may not be as glamorous as other available factory visits, but we certainly try our best to make our guests feel welcome!?

This experience gives sales staff a unique insight into our manufacturing process, and a chance to meet the teams they have daily communication with. We believe that the strength of our sales lies not only with great product but with the professionalism of our customers’ sales staff – it’s always really interesting to hear their opinions and help them to overcome any objections they face in their showrooms.?

These Westbridge Experience days have become very popular, so hopefully we will be able to squeeze in another before Christmas.

… and after that?

All attention is now on the preparations for the January Furniture Show, and as we have the largest stand in Hall 1 again, there is plenty to do – we’ll be launching at least eight new models, and I personally can’t wait!?Stand D80 is definitely not to be missed – see you there.